"In April 1997, Texas began a controversial faith-based prison program in the Jester II Unit, a prison in Richmond (near Houston), which inmates meeting certain criteria could volunteer to join. Originally called the “InnerChange” Pre-Release Program, the Prison Fellowship Ministries’ InnerChange Freedom Initiative (IFI) has operated for ten years in Texas. Although IFI programs have been adopted by other states (Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, and Minnesota), the Richmond-based IFI program was the first in the country. It is also one of the earliest manifestations of the recent faith-based corrections movement.Since the creation of prisons proper, religion has played a role of some kind, often nothing more than whatever comfort and reformation of character a Bible and a chaplain could provide. However, IFI uses religion in a much more intense and thorough way than did even the regime at Eastern State Penitentiary, perhaps the first of IFI’s American predecessors. By all accounts, including those of its participants and officials, IFI is unlike any other previous prison program using religion as a motif or tool of incarceration.4 However, to date, IFI has captured scholars’ attention little outside of the fact that it is potentially unconstitutional and is, possibly, a means of reducing the recidivism rate that plagues the nation’s jails and prisons.5 There is as yet no account of the IFI program on its own terms nor of the actual role religion plays in the program, aside from the ways in which the program may violate the Constitution’s protections of religious freedom and prohibition against government involvement with religion. Thus, this paper seeks to give a thorough historical and contemporary account of the IFI program as it operates in Texas6 as well as of the role religion actually plays in its faith-based regime. This latter goal will be accomplished by providing both illustrative and functional accounts of the role of religion in IFI Texas.7 That is, to determine the role of religion, we shall first describe how religion is included in the regime at Richmond, and then ask what purpose it is meant to serve." (Excerpt from Author)